Travel Adventures: Traveling Alone

Traveling alone has a charm of its own. You can set your own pace and select your own entertainment options – that can be pretty great! I have done a great deal of travel on my own and they have been great experiences.

One such travel was several years ago. I had just started working and I decided that since I had a source of income, it was the best time to begin planning a vacation. I budgeted my salary and tracked my expenses for a full year. It was awesome when I had saved enough to bear my own travel expenses!

When I shared my travel plans with a few friends, some of them decided to join me for a part of the vacation. So I had it planned – I would travel a part of the way with friends and the rest I would travel alone. I picked destinations in the western part of India – Pune, to visit close friends who were like family and then I visited Goa. It was a fantastic trip!

When it was time to travel back home, I was on my own. I had decided to travel by train. From Mumbai to Kolkata I would spend more than 30 hours on the train. If you have ever traveled that route, you know how entertaining and exhausting that can be! But there I was traveling by myself. As in most long train journeys – my co-passengers started talking to me. This middle aged couple next to me were quite friendly. They were intrigued that I was travelling alone. A female on holiday by herself! That was something entirely new to them. To top it all I told them that in Goa I didn’t even know the people I had arranged to stay with. They were so surprised!

After a very long journey, we reached a small town called Rourkela, which is south of West Bengal. That was where this friendly couple got off. It was almost midnight and I was exhausted. I still had several hours to go. I would reach Calcutta the following morning. I wanted to stay awake and say good bye since they had been caring company, but I couldn’t keep my eyes open. I reached Calcutta the next morning tired but still excited about my successful vacation.

At around 11 am that morning, I received a phone call. It was the couple from the train! The kind lady was calling to check if I had made it home safely! That thoughtful gesture was so unexpected and touching, it still makes me smile!

That was all. We didn’t stay in touch after that. No, we didn’t become phone buddies. But I did make it a point to call them the following New Year’s Day, just to return their kind gesture. That made the difference. After that, it became a tradition to speak with them every New Year’s Day. Either they have remembered to call me or I have called them.

We haven’t met since that train ride, but I really hope that we do someday.

– Guest contributor: Jessica Mondal Lakra


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